Women take top spot in Tokyo Olympics

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If . in the latest versions of Olympic Games Two people took the lead in the program, Michael Phelps I Usain Bolt, this time the bat should go to two women: Katie Ledecky, swimming, and Simone Biles, of artistic gymnastics. The two are expected to expand their Olympic medal collections and leave Tokyo as one of the greatest athletes of the Olympics. In addition, Japanese tennis players Naomi Osaka The host of the Games is the biggest star of the delegation. This change of regime happens at a time favorable to the women in the game.

In Japan, female participation would be a record in the number and proportion of athletes and gender equality in sport shows no return. And this was only possible because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to reduce the number of men’s venues and expand the modus operandi offered to women.

Of the total of about 11,000 athletes, 48.8% are women, while men represent 51.2%. The forecast is that at the next edition of the Games, in Paris, in 2024, the venues will be split in half, leading to a record participation of women in the Games. And yet, the fact that the big stars in Tokyo are women raises this expectation of equality.

“It’s amazing and I think we can grow even more. I’m from a sport that’s rarely played by women in Brazil and my goal is to inspire other girls. I want to look back. I’ve helped other athletes go far.” Comment Ana Satila, Brazilian canoe slalom athlete. “Women can make a lot of history on this issue,” he adds.

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If Simone Biles, the United States gymnast at the Rio Games, has already stunned the world by winning four gold medals and one bronze in Tokyo, she has everything to surpass the feat and emerge as the event’s big name. Let’s leave the Olympics. The expectation surrounding it is so great that artistic gymnastics was included as a high-demand event, such as the opening ceremony or the men’s basketball final, for example.

United States swimmer Katie Ledecky should also be at the forefront of the Games. In Rio, in 2016, she climbed the podium five times, four times the highest. Now in Japan, he has everything to at least match his brand and increase the amount of achievements in his career. This Aquatic Center will be the big star in the swimming pool.

Naomi Osaka, on the other hand, is seen as a sporting phenomenon in Japan as she became the first athlete in the country to win a Grand Slam singles tournament when she won the 2018 US Open – a feat she will repeat in 2020. Australia (2019 and 2021), she is so successful in Japan that she even has her own line of Barbie dolls. For the Olympic Games, it is a strong candidate for gold.

This female role in sports is prompting campaigns on social media to spread news about women in sports. Telephone company Vivo created the “4%” project with reference to UNESCO figures, which show that only 4% of sports news in the world is about women. To increase this visibility, the company created a Twitter bot, @4porcento_bot. “When a user is marked for viewing a tweet about the men’s sports universe, he or she will respond to the publication with a suggestion for an article about women’s sports produced by the particular profile”, he says.

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The “PlayWithElas” movement is trying to reverse this situation and from there, for example, inspire new athletes to follow in the footsteps of Biles and Ledecky. In the Brazilian delegation, the number of women is also a record for an edition held overseas. Very different from what happened decades earlier, the 1964 Games were also held in Tokyo.

At the time, Aida dos Santos was the only woman in the Brazilian delegation along with 67 other men. To make matters worse, his position was inferior to everyone else. “I have good memories of attending the Olympics, but sadly because I was alone in the delegation in Tokyo, without a coach, without anyone in my sport, material to compete. I cried a lot,” She told Estado in an interview. end of year.

In the brawl, Aida is injured and is helped by a Cuban athlete who helps her along with a doctor from her delegation. Recovered, she finished fourth in the high jump, the best result in Brazil for more than 30 years. If she had even a little support, she might have won the medal. The athlete’s story of overcoming became a documentary and this year she even won a “uniform that never existed” from Santoro, made especially for her.

Brazilian table tennis athlete Bruna Takahashi looks to Aida’s story as inspiration. “We’ve always had the potential, but they didn’t see it. We can and do the strength. Simone Biles showed that, now we only talk about the medals she’s won. In Aida’s time, things got easier. No, imagine if that was the opportunity we had today,” he says.

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The trajectory of Aida dos Santos serves as an inspiration for the 142 women from Team Brasil today who will represent the country in Tokyo. And it also shows that the new female stars of sports have come so far through the doors opened by previous generations, who often have to move past prejudices and machinations. Now, the time has come for them to capture the Olympus of the stars and shine.

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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